UN Conference on Contributions of Forests to a Green Economy
Every day, around the globe, forests contribute substantially to people’s well-being. For some, forests have a romantic dimension, while others appreciate them for recreational activities or as a source of raw materials. Yet, forests are so much more: they are the earth’s lungs, they regulate the global climate, their soils and trees absorb carbon, and they produce the oxygen we breathe. Forests are also natural water filters and reservoirs, they protect soils and provide habitats for plants and animals. In short, without forests we could not survive.
Around the world, some 1.6 billion people – often the poorest of the poor – depend on forests as their major source of food, medicine, building material and energy. They also value them for their spiritual significance. This gives forests an important role in the fight against poverty. As the initiator of sustainable forest management, Germany has long been aware of forests as a vital resource and lends its support to international efforts to foster forest management approaches aimed at economic development and forest preservation.
This is all in line with the concept of a Green Economy, the subject of an international conference to be held in Bonn from 4 – 7 October 2011. Jointly organised by the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development and the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, and with support from Finland and Austria, the conference will take place at the Stadthalle in Bad Godesberg, a suburb of Bonn. As part of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), it will serve in preparing the UN Conference on Sustainable Development which will be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2012.
The Green Economy conference is being organised in close collaboration with the UNFF Secretariat. It seeks to attract balanced representation across UNFF and CSD (Commission on Sustainable Development) member countries, along with representatives from major interest groups and CPF (Collaborative Partnership on Forests) organisations.